Ireland, No- 9]
IRISH PUBLIC OPINION
WHAT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF DUBLIN SAYS :—
"It is our strong conviction that if anything be now done to
disturb the Legislative Union, the trade of the country will be
most disastrously affected. ... If the idea of creating a
separate Legislature for Ireland be carried into effect, the Govern-
ment will, in our opinion, be brought face to face with an
economic crisis and a condition of destitution in Ireland of a,
magnitude and extent which we cannot but contemplate with
feelings of alarm and dismay." — Address of Welcome presented to
the Earl of Aberdeen, February 22nd, 1886.
WHAT THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF BELFAST SAYS :—
"This meeting deplores the agitation which now exists for
loosening the ties which render Ireland in all respects an integral
part of the United Kingdom, and is deeply sensible that the
commercial prosperity which has blessed the peaceable parts of
this country will receive a sudden shock and lasting injury from
every legislation which would have any tendency to imperil the
connection between this country and Great Britain, whether by
the creation of a separate Parliament or National Council, or
otherwise." — Besolution adopted at a Meeting held in the Chamber
of Commerce, Belfast, January loth, 1886.
WHAT THE UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN SAYS :—
" The peace and prosperity of all classes are, in our judgment,
indissolubly connected with the legislative union between Eng-
land and Ireland." — Address of Welcome presented to the Earl of
Aberdeen, March 12th, 1886.
WHAT THE CHURCHES SAY: -
(Extracts from Official Addresses to the Lord Lieutenant.)
THE CHURCH OF IRELAND (600,000 Members).
" We contemplate with dismay the social disorder, intimida-
tion, and violence which prevail in many 'parts of Ireland, due
to an agitation, the promoters of which would, it is evident, have
paramount influence in a separate Irish Parliament. We, there-
fore, protest — in common with large numbers of our fellow-
( 2 )
countrymen who do not b3long to our Church — against the
establishment of such a Parliament in this land. We are
convinced that so revolutionary a change would only aggravate
the peril to civil and religious liberty and the insecurity of
property and life which now exist."
TEE PEESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN IRELAND
"We would deprecate in the strongest manner, as disastrous
to the best interests of the country, a separate Parliament for
Ireland, or an elective National Council, or any legislation tend-
ing to imperil the legislative union between Great Britain and
Ireland, or to interfere with the unity and supremacy of the Im-
perial Parliament. Legislation in any of these directions would,
in our judgment, lead to the ascendency of one class and creed
in matters pertaining to religious education and civil administra-
tion. We do not believe that any guarantees, moral or material,
could be devised which would safeguard the rights and privileges
of minorities scattered throughout Ireland against the encroach-
ment of a majority vested with legislative functions. Whilst
acknowledging that large sections of the Irish people have in
the past suffered many and grievous wrongs, we believe there
are no grievances removable by legislation which cannot be re-
moved by the Imperial Parliament, while the establishment of
a separate Parliament in Ireland would most seriously aggravate
many existing evils, and would produce other evils greater than
any that at present exist.'
THE METHODIST CHTJBCH IN IEELAND (51,000 Members).
1 ' We would deplore any steps wdiich might be taken, either by
the Government or the Legislature, which would weaken the
bonds which unite this country with Great Britain, and which
would tend to the legislative independence of Ireland — a mea-
sure which, in our judgment, would be fraught with evil to the
best interests of the United Kingdom/'
THE NON-SUESCRIBKTO PRESBYTERIANS (60,000 Members).
" We should be untrue to the convictions, not hastily formed,
which we entertain respecting the Union of the Three Kingdoms,
if we did not venture, at this unprecedented crisis, firmly to
assure your Excellency that we look to the maintenance of the
existing Constitution, with its Imperial Parliament representing
the United Kingdom, as the indispensable safeguard of the
liberties of the wmole people of this island."
Pcelished by the Liberal Committee for the Maintenance of the
Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland.,
35, Spring Gardens, S.W.